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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 04:23   #1
Talon 1
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D70 / 135-400m

Hi, have just purchased my first camera its a Nikon D70 (body only) with a Sigma 135-400 f4.5- 5.6 lens.

Will i need a Tripod with this as its ordered and i am waiting . It looks not exactly Bazooka but big enough to maybe get a bit shakey on shots

What do you think?


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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 05:30   #2
Richard Ford
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Yes.
I all but good light i would want to be using a tripod with this lens.
Or you could consider a monopod which gives good stability without the bulk.
If you are into photography a good tripod will definitly be worht buying anyway.

ATB

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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 05:58   #3
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It's the combination I use most of the time. almost all the pictures in my gallery from around April onward were taken with it. All were hand held. You just need to ensure using a reasonable shutter speed - it's a very easy lens to hold due to the rear focussing and it balances very well on a D70. In poor light I up the ISO and use Neat Image. I try to keep to 1/500 or above where possible but with practice and a steady hand you can go a bit lower. Obviously if you're mainly taking 'static' subjects setting up a tripod will help ensure sharpness but it's not so practical for flight shots and with practice you should be able to manage without if you watch your settings. One advantage of the lens is it's lack of any discernable CA problems - a great plus when you're pointing into sunny skies.
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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 07:57   #4
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I second what Greypoint has said. The 135-400 is not the best lens but in good light can give pretty good results. All my shots are handheld too. If I take shots from the kitchen window I use a cushion as makeshift bean bag. Like Greypoint I puchased this lens secondhand in April.

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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 09:31   #5
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I have a tripod, but rarely use it. I use a tamron lens normally at the 500mm end, but find a tripod too much trouble. In hides i use a homemade beanbag (bag of dried peas in a homemade cloth bag). This is BETTER than a tripod and it's easy to move the camera and the bag "deadens" the vibration caused by the shutter better than all but the heaviest tripods!

Sometimes i use a monopod as this is more flexible when out in the woods / fields. Mostly though, i hand-hold and keep the shutter speed as fast as i can (1/500th+) and maybe up the ISO to 800 if needed.

Don't forget, if you hand hold, get your technique right. DO NOT hold you breath when taking a picture. It is a misconception that this helps - you should take a breath and let it out, then take the picture before inhalling. You can hold your body more still when you're not struggling to hold in a gulp of air!
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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 18:37   #6
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I did panic a bit today as a Shop assistant said that the sigma 135-400mm f4.5-5.5 APO does not fit the Digital D70 body

You can imagine my horror , Its not a Digital fit!. On further investigation from a experienced photographer It fits OK.

Bloody hell i thought i would have to cancel it.

It sounds like its a Border line tripod case. I will see without first and then make my mind up.

Anyone got any shots with this set up? Would love to see a few

Thanks.
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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 18:53   #7
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[quote=Free]It sounds like its a Border line tripod case. I will see without first and then make my mind up.

Anyone got any shots with this set up? Would love to see a fewQUOTE]

Tripod really depends on where you'll be. As i said, in a hide, it's a pain and a bean bag is the best. On a cliff top, shooting over the sea, a tripod will probably come into its own. Shooting ratpters flying overhead, you'll need to hand-hold. You'll get to be comfortable using different techniques depending on the situation.

As i don't have the Sigma, i can't show you any shots using that set-up, but take a look at a few i've got in my gallery (link below), almost all at 500mm (Tamron 200-500). Mostly either hand held or on beanbag. Some using monopod. Don't think any were done using a tripod!!

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...0/ppuser/18597
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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 19:45   #8
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All my recent stuff was done with a D70 plus 135-400mm - gallery on here and also
www.sue-allen.photo-sense.co.uk - none with tripod or monoped.
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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 20:17   #9
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As you all said - you can get good pictures while hand-holding the lenses but i must say that recently i started taking photos with a tripod ( Gitzu ) using a D-70 with Sigma 70-300 and Sigma 170-500.
The pictures come out much much better and sharper ( in my opinion ) . I still use a bean bag ( which is an easier solution ) but the tripod pictures are way better.
Having said all that - it is all true for "still " subjects , but almost impossible to get "in flight " shots with a tripod.
I am realy impressed with your shots Rezmole - and am thinking of getting the Tamron . ( I don't know why the Tamton 200-500 is not getting so much attention - looks like a good lense to me ).
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Old Saturday 25th June 2005, 22:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOC
( I don't know why the Tamron 200-500 is not getting so much attention - looks like a good lense to me ).
I think it's cos it is quite a new lens, and many members of BF seem to already be fans of Sigma. If you wanted a decent zoom at a reasonable price, then basically you were limited to Sigma before. I've never used the Sigma, so i can't comment - but the Tamron is great lens for the price. So far, i haven't read a bad review of it.

I was toying with the Sigma 50-500 which cost about the same, but thought the Tamron might have the edge, due to not having such a wide zoom. What swung it for me was that EVERY review i read said it was best when wide open at F6.3. As that's what you end up shooting at to keep the shutter speed fast, i considered this a good point.

I, for one, have never had any doubt that i made the right choice - and i usually have loads of doubts about my purchases!
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Old Sunday 26th June 2005, 08:33   #11
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Great shots guys and 'greypoint' you have set my mind at rest. i tried to join your website but there did not seem to be a new register set up.
Anyway , great stuff.

Many thanks

Dave.
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Old Sunday 26th June 2005, 08:45   #12
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I have just looked at all of your shots and i may be a bit of a novice at the moment but i wonder why anybody would want a better camera than the D70 with the Sigma lens.
Maybe thats why i am a novice perhaps but i can't see how you could get much better quality, length maybe but quality.....?
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Old Monday 27th June 2005, 11:36   #13
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Main advantages of more expensive lenses are often a wider max. aperture coupled with faster AF. So it's a matter of practice getting the best out of a cheaper lens. The cheaper lenses are usually not so good in low light but with digital you can experiment as much as you like with metering/exp.comp. and different ISO ratings for best results. Yesterday the light was poor and i set ISOs of up to 800 - with processing and a touch of Neat Image I ended up with a reasonable set of pictures.
I still think the D70 takes a bit of beating as a 'bird' camera.
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Old Monday 27th June 2005, 13:55   #14
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by rezMole
I think it's cos it is quite a new lens, and many members of BF seem to already be fans of Sigma. If you wanted a decent zoom at a reasonable price, then basically you were limited to Sigma before. I've never used the Sigma, so i can't comment - but the Tamron is great lens for the price. So far, i haven't read a bad review of it.

I was toying with the Sigma 50-500 which cost about the same, but thought the Tamron might have the edge, due to not having such a wide zoom. What swung it for me was that EVERY review i read said it was best when wide open at F6.3. As that's what you end up shooting at to keep the shutter speed fast, i considered this a good point.

I, for one, have never had any doubt that i made the right choice - and i usually have loads of doubts about my purchases!
Ditto; Well recommended!
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Old Wednesday 6th July 2005, 08:45   #15
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I am still waiting for the D70 body but have the sigma 400mm here. So just to get me cheered up at what distance with this lens could i take with a very close head shot only of a bird?
What would be the minimum and maximum? Just to remind you its a D70 with a sigma 135-400mm lens. Just to wet my appetite while i am waiting.

Thanks
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Old Wednesday 6th July 2005, 09:10   #16
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-Just to wet your appetite- the attached photo was taken with a D-70 and a Sigma 70-300 ( DL.....) - from a range of about 12 feet.
It's a Spur - winged Lapwing.
So with your 400 m"m - you'll even get a bigger head shot!!!
Waiting to see your pics .
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Old Wednesday 6th July 2005, 13:41   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOC
-Just to wet your appetite- the attached photo was taken with a D-70 and a Sigma 70-300 ( DL.....) - from a range of about 12 feet.
It's a Spur - winged Lapwing.
So with your 400 m"m - you'll even get a bigger head shot!!!
Waiting to see your pics .

Thanks Doc its got me going again.

By the way where in Isreal are you , I spent 3 years in Isreal back in the 80's Beautiful Country.
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Old Wednesday 6th July 2005, 14:59   #18
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Here you go... handheld from about 10-12 feet.
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Old Thursday 7th July 2005, 19:31   #19
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Superb! Thankyou.
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Old Friday 8th July 2005, 04:36   #20
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Here is my 2 cents worth.

The end of March I bought my D-70 without the kit lens. I researched lenses and read posts from many photo forums (including BF), and I bought the Tamron 28-300 macro/zoom. It is an outstanding lens! It takes sharp pictures on both ends of the distance spectrum and all points in between.

I do use a tripod. My lens is very light, but I am not that steady for as long as it may take to get the metering and focus right before I actually press the shutter.

This is a midrange picture I took with my lens.

Lydia
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Old Friday 8th July 2005, 19:53   #21
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Free - I hope your D70 arrives soon - I hate to think of you sitting there holding a 135-400mm with nothing to attach it to!
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Old Saturday 9th July 2005, 06:23   #22
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Originally Posted by greypoint
Free - I hope your D70 arrives soon - I hate to think of you sitting there holding a 135-400mm with nothing to attach it to!

Its all here now but................................... The Flash card i am waiting for as i got it half price from Australia. But my parents dont fly back for 2 weeks!

Whats the minimum size i can put in to keep me ticking over until my 1gb turns up.
Anyone got a spare small one i will pay offcoarse
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Old Saturday 9th July 2005, 07:00   #23
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Originally Posted by Free
Its all here now but................................... The Flash card i am waiting for as i got it half price from Australia. But my parents dont fly back for 2 weeks!

Whats the minimum size i can put in to keep me ticking over until my 1gb turns up.
Anyone got a spare small one i will pay offcoarse
I get nearly 80 best quality JPEGs (depending on how much detail is in the subject) on my Canon 20D (which is 8Mp) on a 256 card so that will keep you ticking-over, no problem. Even the 'normal' speed Sandisk, that Canon gave away free is OK - the faster 'Ultra 11' is better but not essential if you're looking for minimum cost.
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Old Sunday 10th July 2005, 04:44   #24
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Have a look at any of the on line stores - Digital Depot are OK for memory cards - you'll get a 128mb for about a tenner I'd think - that would keep you going. On the general subject of memory cards, I would'nt just rely on one card anyway it's not unknown to have problems. If you've gone somehere special and your card fails it's always good to have back up. I personally have 4 smaller cards - 512mb and 256mb - rather than one large one. That way you're less likely to lose everything.
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Old Sunday 10th July 2005, 05:07   #25
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Just got a 256 to be delivered Monday or Tuesday for 12. I am not back until Monday.
The wife rang me and said the camera does not work? She said i have powered up the pack put it in the Body but nothing? I said have you tried with the Lens on?
OH! she said.
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